Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) recently unveiled the Qatar National Child Passenger Safety Programme – Ghalai, aimed at creating awareness about the importance of using child passenger seats among parents, especially new mothers.
The initiative is the first step towards introducing a law making the use of child passenger seats compulsory.
The programme, a collaboration between several governmental and private institutions including the Ministry of Public Health, Ministry of Interior (MoI), Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), Conoco Philips and Saleh Al Hamad Al Mana Co, was inaugurated by Minister of Public Health, HE Dr Hanan Al Kuwari.
“We hope to have changes in the law soon, which will include making use of seat belts compulsory for passengers in the rear seats and child passenger seats. It will take time to make these changes. As a first step, through ‘Ghalai’, we will create awareness and educate the public about the importance of using child seats,” said Colonel Mohammad Radi Al Hajri, from General Directorate of Traffic at the MoI, addressing a press conference held following the launch of ‘Ghalai.’
The Minister also unveiled the first Ghalai station at the WWRC, which is staffed by trained Passenger Safety Technicians, who will help parents fit child safety seats in their car. It will be operated and overseen by the Hamad International Training Centre at HMC. Parents will be able to get their car seats fitted through appointments or as walk-in visitors.
“With more than 20,000 babies born each year, the initiative can play a significant role in improving education and awareness on road safety of newborns and children,” said Dr Khalid Abdulnoor Saifeldeen, Director, HITC.